[LAD] So what do you think sucks about Linux audio ?

Jörn Nettingsmeier nettings at stackingdwarves.net
Sun Feb 10 11:25:52 UTC 2013

On 02/05/2013 03:58 PM, Dave Phillips wrote:
> Greetings,
> I'm not so interested in comments on the commentary, I have my own, but
> say what you will about the list. I figure that most denizens of these
> lists already have ready replies and responses to these and other
> criticisms, many of which have been voiced here previously. What I'm
> more interested in is what *you* think is missing most or just plain
> wrong about the situation. Please, try to speak your piece without
> flames or dissing other developers and/or their work.

[drum roll, the following with at least 15% THD and the distinct sound 
of a 50s ribbon mike after long abuse:]

ask not what free software can do for you, ask what you can do for free 

[enter brass band with some heroic yet totally cheesy hymn arrangement, 
think charles ives stealing frank zappa's reggae horn arrangement of the 
stairway to heaven solo.]

free software, my friends, is a natural resource. complaining about the 
lack of this or that is just about as clever or useful as complaining 
about the utter lack of oil or rare earth metals on your home turf, 
which unjustly prevents you from becoming the next rockefeller.
making linux audio more approachable to people who have not grasped this 
basic fact has no benefits at all, neither to developers nor to users.

personally, i find my days of linux audio evangelism are over. it suits 
my needs better than ever before, and i make very sure that people i 
talk to are made aware of the treasure trove of linux audio tools.
and of course i assume the lotus position and put on my most radiating 
smile when people who have just figured that i'm a sort of computer 
person then start complaining about their problems with operating system 
$FOO and how proprietary tool $BAR is just a millstone around their 
necks. but that's it.
if they need guitar rig or protools or garageband, we can't give it to 
them, so obviously they are better off on other platforms. that is good. 
it's even better than turning them into frustrated converts who then 
keep complaining how they can't run TDM or RTAS plugins or their VSTs 
keep crashing or whatever.

if somebody decides to take the plunge (which also implies some other 
basic skills, such as being able to use email in a constructive manner, 
learning what IRC is, aiming at learning to compile one's own software, 
and so on), i will try to share tricks and help out as best as i can.

but why press-gang perfectly happy users of proprietary software into 
linux, or put up with jerks who think the world has to support their 
personal way of composing? that's just the lamest thing i can imagine.

don't get me wrong, i think it's perfectly ok for non-programmers to try 
and nudge developers gently towards what you think are good ideas. i do 
it myself all the time, but i try to do it 
_from_the_inside_of_a_project. that means i try to make myself a little 
useful, subscribe to the mailing list, learn the software, build from 
the latest dev tree, lose some productive time dealing with crashes and 
try to provide useful feedback. only then do i sound off about what new 
stuff i'd like to see.

anything else is just bikeshedding.

my 200 €.


Jörn Nettingsmeier
Lortzingstr. 11, 45128 Essen, Tel. +49 177 7937487

Meister für Veranstaltungstechnik (Bühne/Studio)
Tonmeister VDT


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